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Team title: Geoelectric field and GIC modelling Working Team 

Team ID: G1-01

Team Leads:

Lisa Rosenqvist (Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden), lisa.rosenqvist@foi.se 

Participants:
 

Craig Rodger (University of Otago, New Zealand), crodger@physics.otago.ac.nz

Keywords (impact): Electric power systems, GICs

Keywords (activity type): Understanding , Modeling, Forecasting

Introduction:

A solar storm starts a chain of events that originates from the solar interior, extends out into the solar corona, the solar wind, and eventually impacts the Earth's magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere system. At the end of this space weather chain, processes that lead to induction of currents in the ground can potentially impact infrastructure that are critical to society. During extreme space weather the electric power transmission system constitutes the most vulnerable technological infrastructure regarding GIC, as they can suffer from single or multiple transformer damage which in the worst case scenario can lead to collapse of the whole system.

Geomagnetic variations are enhanced in the auroral oval regions, thus northern countries such as Sweden experience larger electric fields and is thus a
likely region of extreme GIC events. However, it is shown that in addition to the
obvious amplification due to the high-latitude location, varying ground
conductivity properties can further lead to an increase in
GIC in regions with low ground conductivities or large lateral conductivity gradients (coastal effects). The importance of the coast effect for GICs has been
studied in several studies and a realistic treatment of such effects cannot
be captured by the commonly used one dimensional plane wave method. In this Working team we want to improve the knowledge and quantify the importance of specific local conditions in terms of conductivity variations in order to assess the significance of moving toward usage of 3-D induction modeling methods and models in order to improve GIC forecasting for extreme Space Weather events.

Objectives:

  • To validate and benchmark 3D induction modeling and methods for GIC predictions.
  • To study the specific geological conditions for geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) driven by extreme space weather.
  • To analyze the necessary components needed to tailor GIC forecasting model for different regions.
  • To improve forecasting capability for GICs.

Action topics:

  • Understand and quantify role of soil, ocean or crustal conductivities on the enhancement or modification of any electric fields induced by the geomagnetic disturbances,
  • Understand and quantify impact of geomagnetic variability on critical infrastructure ,
  • Quantification of extreme GIC characteristics

Link to team external website: